Bendamustine

Bendamustine treats certain types of blood cancer. It can cause nausea and diarrhea. Women should not get pregnant during treatment and for 3 months after stopping bendamustine.

Bendamustine Overview

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Bendamustine is a prescription medication used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL. It is also used to treat a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, or NHL. Bendamustine belongs to a group of drugs called alkylating agents. These work by killing existing cancer cells and limiting the growth of new cancer cells.

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.

Common side effects of bendamustine include fever, nausea, and vomiting. Bendamustine may also cause tiredness. Avoid driving any vehicle or operating any dangerous tools or machinery if they experience this side effect.

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Bendamustine Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Bendamustine

Bendamustine is a prescription medication used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). CLL is a type of cancer of the white blood cells. Bendamustine is also used to treat a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL). NHL is a cancer that begins in a type of white blood cell that normally fights infection .

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Bendamustine Brand Names

Bendamustine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Bendamustine Drug Class

Bendamustine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Bendamustine

Common side effects of bendamustine include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • heartburn
  • constipation
  • stomach pain or swelling
  • sores or white patches in the mouth
  • dry mouth
  • bad taste in the mouth or difficulty tasting food
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • headache
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • back, bone, joint, arm or leg pain
  • dry skin
  • sweating
  • night sweats
  • pain in the place where the medication was injected

This is not a complete list of bendamustine side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

Bendamustine Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • medications that block the enzyme CYP1A2 such as zileuton (Zyflo), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), mexiletine (Mexitil), propafenone (Rythmol), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin), cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), birth control pills, acyclovir (Zovirax), ticlopidine (Ticlid), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • medications that increase the activity of the enzyme CYP1A2 such as montelukast (Singulair), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), phenobarbital
  • cigarette smoking increases the activity of the enzyme CYP1A2

This is not a complete list of bendamustine drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Bendamustine Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with bendamustine including the following:

  • Mild or serious allergic reactions. Immediately report rash, facial swelling, or difficulty breathing during or soon after infusion.
  • A decrease in white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells. Your doctor will monitor your blood counts. Report shortness of breath, significant fatigue, bleeding, fever, or other signs of infection.
  • Bendamustine may also cause tiredness. Avoid driving any vehicle or operating any dangerous tools or machinery if they experience this side effect.
  • Nausea and Vomiting. Tell your doctor if you experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Your doctor may prescribe treatment to manage these side effects.
  • Rash. Mild rash or itching may occur during treatment with bendamustine. Immediately report severe or worsening rash or itching.
  • Harm to your unborn baby. Women should not become pregnant throughout treatment and for 3 months after treatment with bendamustine has stopped.

Do not take bendamustine if you are allergic to bendamustine or to any of its ingredients.

Bendamustine Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of bendamustine, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking bendamustine, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to bendamustine, mannitol (Osmitrol), or any other medications
  • have or have ever had kidney or liver disease
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you plan to father a child. You or your partner should not become pregnant while you are receiving bendamustine. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy in yourself or your partner during your treatment with bendamustine and for 3 months afterwards. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you or your partner becomes pregnant while receiving bendamustine, call your doctor. Bendamustine can harm the fetus
  • are breastfeeding
  • you should know that bendamustine may make you tired. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Bendamustine and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category D. Bendamustine caused problems in animals, when a single dose was administered to pregnant animals. There are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women. Bendamustine can cause harm to your unborn baby.

If you become pregnant while receiving bendamustine, contact your doctor immediately.  

Women should not become pregnant while receiving bendamustine and for 3 months after therapy has stopped. In addition, men receiving bendamustine, should use reliable contraception for the same time period. 

Bendamustine and Lactation

It is not known if bendamustine is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants and the fact harm was evident in animal studies, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. Women should avoid breastfeeding while receiving bendamustine. 

Bendamustine Usage

Receive bendamustine exactly as prescribed.

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.

Bendamustine Dosage

This medication is available in an injectable form to be dosed by a healthcare professional:

Bendeka

  • When treating Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the typical dose is 100 mg/m2 (surface area dosing) infused into the vein over 10 minutes on Days 1 and 2 of a 28-day cycle, up to 6 cycles.
  • When treating Indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), the typical dose is 120 mg/m2 infused intravenously over 10 minutes on Days 1 and 2 of a 21­ day cycle, up to 8 cycles. 

Treanda

  • When treating Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the typical dose is 100 mg/m2 (surface area dosing) infused into the vein over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 2 of a 28-day cycle, up to 6 cycles.
  • When treating Indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), the typical dose is 120 mg/m2 infused intravenously over 60 minutes on Days 1 and 2 of a 21-day cycle, up to 8 cycles

The dose may be adjusted if you experience certain toxicities.

Bendamustine Overdose

If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.